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Ethiopia says 44,500 citizens repatriated in 6 months

ADDIS ABABA — Ethiopia has said some 44,500 citizens from Saudi Arabia and other countries were repatriated in the last six months, according to the Foreign Ministry spokesperson on Thursday.

The repatriation operation was conducted with the joint efforts of Ethiopia’s foreign mission in Saudi Arabia — including the Jeddah Embassy — and international organizations, Meles Alem told a press briefing.

Of these, 4,168 citizens were brought back home from Libya, the United Arab Emirates and Tanzania in the last two weeks, he said.

He said Ethiopia has been giving emphasis to the safety of citizens after it embarked on reformation, and stressed that efforts will continue to bring back citizens suffering in foreign lands.

Enhanced activities have been launched to make sure that citizens go abroad as domestic workers legally, he said.

Immediately after taking office as prime minister in April, Abiy Ahmed visited Saudi Arabia from where he came back with a plane full of refugees who lived in agony.

Saudi Arabia had earlier incarcerated thousands of Ethiopians who went there as domestic workers, saying most of them were not legal.

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